The Romantic Legacy

late nineteenth to early twentieth century

(Classical Music Map)


I. History of Classical Music  (by John Stanley)
The great composers and their masterworks in MP3 format
Albeniz Borodin Donizetti Hindemith Prokofiev Schutz
Albinoni Brahms Dowland Janacek Puccini Scriabin
Allegri Britten Dvorak Kodaly Purcell Sibelius
Arne Bruckner Falla Leoncavallo Rachmaninov Smetana
Auber Busoni Field Liszt Rameau Strauss J.S.
Bach Byrd Gabrieli Lully Ravel Strauss R.
Barber Carissimi Gershwin Mahler Respighi Stravinsky
Bartok Charpentier Gesualdo Mendelssohn Rimsky-Korsakov Tallis
Beethoven Cherubini Glinka Meyerbeer Rossini Tchaikovsky
Bellini Chopin Gluck Monteverdi Saint-Saens Telemann
Bernstein Clementi Gounod Mozart Scarlatti Verdi
Berwald Corelli Grieg Mussorgsky Schoenberg Victoria
Berlioz Couperin Handel Pachelbel Shostakovich Villa-Lobos
Bizet Debussy Haydn Paganini Schubert Vivaldi
Boccherini Delibes Hildegard Palestrina Schumann Wagner
Orff  "Carmina Burana"
II. History of Jazz

Jean Sibelius



Renowned as Finland's greatest composer, Jean Sibelius showed early musical ability both as a violinist and composer and attained a thorough knowledge of Viennese classics through playing in his family's string trio. In 1885 he enrolled m a law course at the University of Helsinki, but it was soon clear that his ambitions lay m music. He moved to the Conservatoire the following year, where he developed a friendship with the composer Busoni. who was a member of the teaching staff.

In 1889 Sibelius made a two-year trip abroad to study in Berlin and Vienna. He formed a taste for high society during this period: heavy drinking and extravagance led to the beginning of financial problems that would beset him for some rime to come.

Sibelius returned to Finland in 1892 and married Aino Jarnefelt, a member of an aristocratic Finnish family. Their marriage survived until Sibelius's death in 1957, despite his debts and drinking. A visit to Bayreuth, the home of Wagnerian opera, m 1894 had a profound effect on the young Sibelius. He abandoned an early opera, perhaps feeling unable to compete with Wagner, and concentrated instead on symphonic music. The result was heard m 1899 when both the
First symphony and Finlandia were performed to great acclaim. The latter was composed for a pageant that became a rallying point for Finnish nationalists at a time when Russian domination of the country was increasing.
The first decade of the twentieth century saw a massive growth in Sibelius's international reputation. He travelled extensively, and was received warmly in England and the United States. In 1901 he met Dvorak in Prague and spent the rest of the year working on the Second symphony, which takes a more overtly nationalist stance than his other symphonies. One of his most frequently performed works, the Violin concerto, was composed in 1903 and became immediately successful.

This was also a period of extravagance and mounting debt. In 1908 Sibelius became seriously ill and was forced to give up smoking and drinking for some years. The threat to his life posed by a suspected cancer may well account for a renewed concentration and depth in the works that followed. His symphonies are notable for their organic growth, subtly achieved forms, and refined instrumentation.

The Fifth symphony, his most popular, was composed during World War I. Heroic in mood, it is easily accessible and contains some of the most colourful music he ever wrote. The postwar years saw only four major new works by Sibelius: the final symphonies (Nos. 6 and 7), incidental music to Shakespeare's The Tempest, and finally the tone poem Tapiola in 1 925.

Despite rumours of an eighth symphony, Sibelius lived out his remaining 30 years in musical silence. Many reasons have been suggested for this, his drinking and disillusionment with modern music being most often cited. Whatever the reason, Sibelius had already proven himself a composer of the highest rank.


Jean Sibelius



Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)



Bruno Zwicker
Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47
Allegro moderato
Adagio di molto
Allegro ma mon tanyo
Chris Breemer
5 Piano Pieces Op. 75
When the rowan tree blossoms
The lonely pine
The aspen
The birch
The spruce
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo
Serenade No.2 for violin and orchestra

Songs op. 36
Randall Scarlata
Sigh, sedges, sigh





















Strauss Richard



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